World Village of Women Sports design awarded to team led by BIG
The design of a 100,000 sq m 'first of its kind' sports facility for women in Malmo, Sweden has been awarded to the collaborative team led by BIG with AKT, Tyréns and Transsolar.
Composed as a village, similar to that of Olympic villages seen throughout the world, the World Village of Women Sports (WVOWS) seeks to create a natural gathering place for the research, education and training in all areas connected to the development of women’s sports. BIG's design, dubbed The Crown Princess and led by senior architect Nanna Gyldholm Moller, was chosen from five entries for the €200million project.
Located in the centre of Malmo, the design was chosen as a new landmark for the city. “BIGs design places great emphasis on architecture tailored to women with an unconstrained atmosphere and a feeling of well-being," said jury member Mats Jacobson. "The architects see the WVOWS as a town within a town rather than just a sports complex. The decisive factor has been the holistic approach and the overall impression of the design – the ability to interact with the neighborhood and environment, and creating attractive housing and functions at the same time.”
In producing designs the architects were tasked with facilitating all facets of sports production, from a sport medicine center, to product development in areas such as nutrition, to training facilities and private accommodation. The project is seen as ground-breaking in offering women the same opportunities to develop in sports as men. In achieving this BIG's design is specifically tailored to suit women:
"Considering the special requirements of women of all cultures and all ages, special attention has been given, to provide the sports village with a feeling of intimacy and well being often lacking in the more masculine industrial-style sports complexes that are more like factories for physical exercise, than temples for body and mind," said Bjarke Ingels, Partner-In-Charge at BIG.
The distinctive design features sloping roofscapes and alternating building volumes which provide the complex with the varying identity of a small village thus reducing its scale to the adjacent neighbourhood. Within the 'Crown' spaces are separated by varying zonal levels but remain open and welcoming. The central hall, large enough to accommodate professional football matches as well as concerts, conferences, exhibitions and flea markets, is presented as an open space visible from the surrounding streets. The first stage of construction is due for completion in 2012.
“From the main football field at its heart, to the gyms and auditoria, from the handball halls of the university to the laboratories of the health facility, it is an entire village committed to sport," said Project Leader, Nanna Gyldholm Moller.
Niki May Young